Tips on Relocation

Moving to a new community is an enormous undertaking. Yet as you prepare for a move and after you arrive in your new home, finding the resources you need can be a big part of how comfortable you feel there. It is often the little things -- where to go for dry cleaning or for a good take-home meal, having a reliable babysitter or pet sitter, knowing what's fun to do on the weekend -- that make the difference between feeling frustrated and feeling at home. Gathering information takes time, but if you begin early you can speed up this settling-in process. Here are some suggestions for finding the resources and services you will need:

check Contact Army Community Service Relocation Readiness Program. 973-724-5219. Information can be prepared for your move.

check Search on the Internet. Many communities now have Web sites, as do local newspapers.

check Contact the local chamber of commerce, Welcome Wagon, or visitor center. These can often provide maps and brochures, and sometimes offer directories of local merchants and services. They can also get you information about interesting local sites and events.

check Look for a copy of the yellow pages for your new community. Ask your local library if it keeps copies of the yellow pages for the community you will be moving to. Even if your local library doesn't have any, it may be able to obtain a copy for you.

check Talk to local real estate agents. Most real estate agents will happily send packets of information about the communities in which they operate, and can answer questions by phone.

check Subscribe to local newspapers and magazines. This is an easy, enjoyable way to get acquainted with a new community and to get a taste of what life is like there. Many metropolitan areas now have parents' papers, which offer calendars of local events and information about local services and attractions that are of special interest to parents.

check Make connections through groups in which you are already active. If you are active in a local organization, participate in a support group, or have local connections through a hobby or special interest, find out if there is a group or chapter in the new community, or if your current group can give you the names of people there with similar interests and needs.

check Get a map of your new community. Encourage your children to use it and to point out their future home to friends.

check Ask your current doctor, dentist, or lawyer for referrals to other providers in or near your new community. Many professionals belong to national organizations and are able to point people in the right direction in their new community.

check Contact the principal's office of your child's new school. Most people enjoy giving advice about what to expect in a new community. The principal, or someone in her office, can give you information about sports leagues and fun activities for children, and may be able to answer any special questions you have. You can also ask them for a contact name at the local parent-teacher organization (PTO).